Laptop touchpad cursor jumps around while not touching it

Updated: 08/31/2020 by Computer Hope
Laptop touchpad
Note

Details on this page are for a laptop touchpad. For a desktop computer mouse issues, see: Mouse acting erratically, jumping, or is not moving properly.

Tip

Some laptops may have a button around the touchpad or an icon in the Windows Notification Area to enable and disable the touchpad.

Make sure you are not touching the touchpad

Because the touchpad is close to where the palms lay, you may be touching it without realizing you are. An easy way of determining this is to see if the cursor moves without touching anything on the keyboard.

Dirty touchpad

Oils, lotion, and other substances from your fingers can cause the touchpad not to work properly. Make sure the touchpad is clean by dampening a cotton cloth with water and gently rubbing the touchpad surface.

Disconnect other external input devices

It may not be the touchpad that's causing your issue. If you have other input devices, such as an external mouse, graphics tablet, or keypad, try disconnecting these devices to make sure they're not causing your issue.

Disconnect from docking station

If your laptop is only encountering this issue while connected to a docking station, your issue could be caused by the docking station. Make sure your laptop has the latest BIOS update.

Update drivers

Because the drivers control how the touchpad interfaces with the operating system, if the drivers contain issues, that could cause the cursor to move improperly. Make sure you have the latest drivers for the touchpad by visiting the laptop manufacturer website or contacting their support.

Try a third-party utility

Download and install Touchpad Blocker, a fantastic free program that helps prevent any mistaken touchpad movements.

Bad hardware

If, after completing the above steps you continue to have touchpad issues, a hardware issue may exist with the touchpad or its interface.

If your laptop is out of warranty and you don't want to spend to have it repaired, we suggest disabling the touchpad and using an external USB mouse. Many touchpads can be disabled by pressing a button above or around the touchpad. If no button for disabling the touchpad is found, disable it through the Mouse configuration utility, found in the Control Panel.